“No profit” in the MOT

As we reported when the formal consultation for exempting classic vehicles from MOT Testing was published, the Government claims there’s ‘no profit element’ in the MOT Test.

That statement was challenged by the MOT Trade Forum in their formal response to the DfT’s consultation document on classic car MOT exemption.

The Government remains of the view that the cost of the MOT test was calculated using the actual (average) time to conduct the test, the average labour cost rates and the recovery of the investment required to provide and equip a garage to Department for Transport/VOSA specifications, hence there is no direct profit element in the MOT test fee.

When setting up the MOT Scheme, the Government decided that it should be done by private motor repair businesses. The also felt that as such businesses were already operating successfully, so to carry out a very brief road safety check of lights, brakes and steering, they only needed to be paid any additional direct costs incurred by that inspection – which in practice meant the hourly rate paid to Testers, and the additional cost of equipment.

So the then Ministry of Transport saw the MOT fee as just a marginal costing exercise making no contribution to the garages’ profitability.

Yet today, fifty-two years later, much has changed. The inspection is a complicated highly proscribed and comprehensive examination of vastly more complex vehicles. The rules and regulations  are vastly more complicated and lengthy than the simplistic regulations of 1961.

For any future fee negotiations with DfT Officials, this policy must be challenged.

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